UNC 104, A&T 66: Post Game Locker Room Report

Inside Carolina's coverage from inside the Carolina post game locker room...

Coach Matt Doherty

"31 assists and nine turnovers. I talked to the team at halftime, I didn't want to jinx them, and say we only have five turnovers and I wanted to keep it under ten. We only had nine turnovers and that was great. I thought we had some great performances.

"To get 31 assists on 37 baskets is great team basketball. It was fun to sit on the sidelines and not have to work too hard. I didn't have to call too many plays, I didn't do a whole lot. They did all the work. I though Jason Capel and Brian Bersticker really led the effort.

"It's great to see the ball go into the hoop the last couple of games and I hope it continues.

"Shot selection is better. I think we made some really unselfish plays. Jason Capel had the ball under the basket one time and he could have tried to force up a shot but he kicked it out to somebody who was wide open from the three point line. So, I think we are looking to make that extra pass and I think guys are getting comfortable with each other. We have so many new faces that guys are comfortable with their teammates, with each other.

On former teammate and current Aggie coach Curtis Hunter's sport coat
"Before the game, I said something to my assistants, ‘I bet Curtis comes out with something pretty strong' and he did (laughter). Curtis was always one of the guys on the team that liked to dress well and he does."

On the team's performance in the last two games
"It's fun to see. People write us off and say things, and I am not saying all our ills are fixed and we are going to run the table the rest of the way, but we are certainly getting better. That is all I can ask of my team is give great effort and get better each day and that is what we have been doing."

On the last two big games without Kris and on this team possibly being more fluid without Kris
"Kris is the second fastest guy on the team behind Brian Morrison. So, he gets up and down the court, he gets out and guard, he shoots the ball well from 15 to 18 feet. I just think that things clicked against St. Joe's and things just happened. Now, when Kris gets back, hopefully it will be against Wake Forest, I don't know if he'll play against (Texas) A&M, then we'll have everybody operating at full speed. I don't think it's fair to say we are better without Kris Lang. To me, Kris is one of the best post players in the country and I'll welcome him back as soon as he gets healthy.

"Orlando could have played some though hasn't practiced. He pulled a groin and I didn't want to play him unless we needed him."

Jason Capel

On the big win
"It's a big confidence booster. Guys are playing a lot looser. Guys are making shots and making plays and that is what you have to do at this level."

On the recent success of the team
"I think we are just feeling each other better. We are playing better together, moving better, making better passes and better decisions. That's all about confidence. We trusting one another to make plays and we are making plays and shooting the ball well."

"We are playing loose man. We are playing like we don't care. We aren't worried about outside forces, we are not worried about anything. We are out there having fun. We are playing loose, guys are making plays, taking shots that are open. We are not looking over at coach. We are playing basketball and at this level, that's what you have to do. You have to be able to take risk, you have to be able to trust one another and that is what we are doing now and we are playing better."

Brian Bersticker

On the development of the freshmen
"They are coming along. I know it's hard to be just thrown in there playing a lot of minutes. I think everyday they are getting better and they are learning more. I think that's the biggest thing right now, they are learning how to play in a league like this. It's a big step from high school to playing college ball. I know Jawad was an animal on the boards tonight. He was on the rebounds and the put backs. He stepped up tonight and we needed him to."

On how this team has progressed since the first of the year
"I think we are playing a little more relaxed and we are having fun out there and playing Carolina basketball again. In the first couple of games, I think we were thinking too much. Now, we are executing and playing hard and knocking in shots. I think that's what it's going to take."

Adam Boone

On getting a healthy Kris Lang back in the lineup soon
"Oh that will be great. That's more weapons for us. Kris has proven that he is very dangerous out there both under the boards and on defense as well as scoring. He's proven himself and we'd love to have him back out there."

On the success of the offense tonight
"I think guys are understanding the offense, understanding where the ball needs to go. When we break a play or cut it a little short, we are doing it for a good reason. It's something we see and try to take advantage of. We are making confident plays on the court. As a team, we are making confident decisions and that just leads to less turnovers.

"It just shows confidence (plays like Manuel's behind the back pass). Guys just being able to make those kinds of plays, even if they don't work, they are showing they are confident in their ability and they believe they can make that type of play. It's good to see that sort of confidence level come into this team."

How much of the success in the past two games has come from the freshmen coming into their own?
"I think they have been great, the freshmen have been great for us. But, I'd like to believe that it's a lot of the team coming together. I think they are just part of the team. Coming into the year, we really weren't familiar with the freshmen, but we really weren't familiar with anybody, too much, besides Kris and Jason. I think everybody is starting to play their role in how the team is run and I think the freshmen are very much included in that."

What needs to happen for this team to get better?
"We are realistic here. We have a goal of being at our peak in March so we have a long ways to go. We have to continue limiting our turnovers. I think that is a big key for us as well as hit the boards. We are going to be a team that has to work to get rebounds and we understand that and hopefully we can continue to do that. It's just a matter of going into practice and learning what our coaches teach us."

Melvin Scott

On the difference in the past two games from the first five or six
"We are playing with much more confidence and playing real unselfish. That's the biggest thing."

On Morrison's no turnover game
"He played a helluva game. When he doesn't turn the ball over, he's capable of being one of the best players on this team and in the league. He's a great shooter too so when he's not turning the ball over and he's stroking that thing, he's real effective."

On Jawad picking things up the past couple of weeks
"I guess he just had to get adapted to this type of play. Division I, ACC, it's tough. I think he really responded positively and didn't hang his head. We told him his points would come and he's being tough and it's working out for him."

Jawad Williams

On having a big scoring night
"It doesn't really matter to me, I just wanted to get a win. But, it feels good. Come out, play hard and it pays off."

What has happened with this team the last two games?
"The guys are playing with confidence and we are having a lot of fun out there. Before, we were tentative, worried about what coach had to say. We are still worried about what he has to say, but we don't have to look over our shoulders all the time.

"He's (Coach Doherty) showing confidence in us. We just went out there and played. He had the confidence to give us the ball and let us go and we did."

On his development
"I am learning to play within the system. I am learning how to get my teammates involved and let the game come to me first instead of me going out and forcing things. I am just relaxing now."

Is this more of what you expected when you came to Carolina as far as getting wins?
"Yea, the W's, yea. I never expected to come in here and start the way we did, but we are turning it around. We have to just keep working hard everyday in practice and get better."

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